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Allerdale Borough Council,
Allerdale House,
Workington,
Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ

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Council agrees £30,000 cash boost for Kirkgate Centre

7 January 2015

The transformation of Cockermouth’s Kirkgate Centre has been given a £30,000 boost by Allerdale Borough Council and Britain’s Energy Coast.

The BEC Social Investment Fund, which is managed by the economic growth team at the Council, has made the grant to increase staff capacity and bring in specialist support to enable the Kirkgate Centre to raise the £2 million it needs for its modernisation project.

Councillor Mark Fryer, Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and a BEC board member, said: “The Kirkgate Centre is a brilliant facility and one of this area’s best cultural assets. This major renovation initiative can only happen with the right team in place, backed up by external expertise, so this additional funding is vital for the project’s success. I’m very pleased that Britain’s Energy Coast’s Social Investment Fund has been able to play a part in making this initiative happen.” 

Kate Parry, the Kirkgate Centre’s General Manager, said the Council’s sign-off of the £30,000 grant will support the development stages of the renovation and modernisation plans over the next 12 months. She added: “To bring our exciting modernisation project to fruition at the Kirkgate Centre we need to make sure we have all the right staff and support in place.  It’s a huge undertaking, and we will be continuing to deliver our normal busy programme of events and shows at the same time. This money will enable us to press on with all the funding applications, planning and design stages that constitute our next steps.”

Stephen Barrie, Deputy Chair of the Board and Project Director added: “We are extremely delighted that Allerdale Borough Council has supported our plans for the Kirkgate in such a significant way and this decision has given the project a real boost. It is a major vote of confidence in our vision for the centre and we hope it will unlock funding support from other sources.”

The Kirkgate Centre has been operating for nearly 20 years and this constant use has taken its toll on the building. The re-development will extend and modernise the Kirkgate, creating more flexible and welcoming public spaces, a new cafe bar, improved facilities for artists and for community groups, and introducing up-to-date technology to the auditorium. Significantly, the improvements will also create the only stage in West Cumbria that is fully accessible for performers in wheelchairs.

  1. The BEC Social Investment Fund has allocated £1 million of nuclear sector funding for use by Allerdale Borough Council and Copeland Borough Council – each authority has been allocated £500,000. The funding has been received from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield Ltd and Nuclear Management Partners.
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0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ